With authenticity as the key factor that interests a consumer to seek more information about a brand and connect with it, it is crucial to find your uniqueness. The tone and voice of your business should reflect your audience and make the impression it desires.
What is a brand voice and brand tone?
A brand voice is a unique way in which a brand communicates with everyone. It expresses a brand’s identity value and its say in the market to the external audience.
A brand’s voice defines the personality, positioning and image. This way of communicating should be honed and practised over time, consistently across all communication channels.
A brand tone describes how the unique voice is applied, and it can differ in context across platforms depending on the audience and situation. It adds flavour to the voice.
Characteristics of a brand voice
- It is the companies’ say and how they say it whether through emails, social media, over the phone, press release or any other communication source.
- It is uniform in vocabulary, values and strategies to get consistent results.
- It is present at every customer touch points which refers to everywhere the business interacts with consumers. Examples include; websites, social media channels, emails, ads, packaging etc. Voice principles guide how the brand sounds at every touch point.
Why should voice and tone matter to your brand
Consumers want to know more about what your brand represents. Having a unique voice and appropriate tone as an extension of your personality helps to communicate your values and tells your brand story.
Businesses ought to humanize their brand for audiences to feel comfortable engaging them. The voice behind a brand helps the audience to form real-life connections and develop trust and brand loyalty.
Therefore in your endeavour to keep audiences, avoid being too professional or sales-y in your approach. Also, use flexible guides to direct your team while asking yourself what does your audience want and resonate with.
How to create your brand voice and tone
1. Develop a strategic vision for the business
Once you know the purpose for your brand, it’s time to cultivate the voice that will communicate your purpose and one that can be recognized easily across the entire marketing strategy. Be strategic with your choices when running your business.
Therefore, craft a unique vision and mission that defines your brand’s values, image, feel, positioning, voice and tone to make you stand out.
Developing this strategy as the foundation should be your first approach before you delve into the implementation process.
2. Ensure the voice represents your personality
You want a unique brand voice that also matches your personality and reflects it in its branding and messaging. This does not imply you have to be crazy different from your competitors.
So be yourself. If you’re cool or friendly, build your voice around that.
Create a brand persona. Create a series of questions about your brand. Sit down with your team to brainstorm a list of adjectives that best describe your brand. You’ll use those adjectives to create guides.
What are our values?
What sets us apart from similar brands?
How do we want to be portrayed?
What reputation do we want?
Who are we creating content for?
What does our audience look like?
Why are we on social media?
What value should we offer our audience?
How does our audience interact with us and others on social media? What language and tone do they use?
What don’t we want to be defined as?
Examples of Voice Adjectives: Direct, Inspiring, Empowering, Nurturing, Nerdy, Playful.
Select five to six adjectives that stand out. You’ve just found your brand’s voice! Use these adjectives to represent how your brand communicates.
3. Build with a style guide
A style guide sets standards and provides guidelines on how the brand should be presented in language and graphics.
You can pinpoint a New York Times article from miles away. If your brand outsources content contention, share the guide with your freelancers to uphold uniformity.
4. Audit your content and messaging
Carry out a brief audit of your content if you have published already. These include content on your website copy, blog articles, videos, ads, social media posts, etc.
Pick out any inconsistencies in tone and messaging. Does your voice tally with your values and purpose? How can it be improved?
Your best performing content should tell you what your customers resonate with the most. Adjust your brand’s voice and tone to fit that.
5. Know your clients and listen to them
Keep your audience in mind. Know what your customers like, what they want and their basic demographics. The voice should be pleasant to them. For example, if your audience is interested in comedy, they might appreciate humour in your brand voice.
The customers should be able to recognize, like and resonate with the robust and unique voice.
Capture what the customers say and build world clouds that matter to them in a way they can understand. Use that language for your voice. How they communicate shows what they expect from your brand.
6. Empower your team to be the voice
Once the voice is strategically connected to the vision and purpose of the brand, it is then centred around the customer’s voice. Employees must articulate this voice authentically in words and action.
Employees should be on the frontline humanizing your brand. This way, the message doesn’t get lost in the noise. And the customers resonate with it more.
Your target audience wants to be part of your story, so include them!
Which brand uses tone and voice so well? Let us know!